This time last week we were wrapping up at the Docklands convention. Were you amongst those who joined us there?
Since it's rapidly evolving into the hotspot for London's young cosplayers to congregate, London Expo, which takes place at the ExCeL Centre, is about the only place where the following sights are commonplace: a Lego man and woman struggling to get wristbands over their yellow claws, an Alien and a Predator in a wrestling ring, a giant Deathnote book with "free hugs!" scrawled in it, and a toilet block strewn with discarded bits of fabric.
Writer Paul Cornell , there to promote his TV pilot Pulse as well as his comics work, blogged, "There's so much cosplay... It's liberating: the opposite of geek shame. Those kids are starting to make anyone passing by who's not got a huge cardboard sword feel a wee bit under-dressed. [It's] a social, not closeted, experience."
The SFX team didn't dress up, disgracefully, although top author Robert Rankin joined us on our stand and was typically dapper. As well as selling some of his handmade steampunk jewellery, Robert was there to host the now-traditional SFX sci-fi quiz Blastermind, which took place on stage at 4pm on Saturday afternoon. About 20 teams entered, with the number one slot after five rounds - including an impressive sci-fi charades category - going to a team called the Victorian Steampunk Society. These elegant guys and gals were at the event to promote their own gathering, the Asylum steampunk festival in Lincoln but also found time to whip everybody at sci-fi trivia. The fact that Robert Rankin is an honorary fellow of their society had nothing to do with it - all answer sheets were checked by our very own Dave Golder.
Elsewhere at the ExCeL centre, gamers smashed the Guinness World Record for the "largest handheld game console party", with more than 580 people gathered with their Nintendo DS handheld consoles. If that sounds like a lot of people, bear in mind that the event overall saw in excess of 41,000 people passing through the doors, making May's Expo the most successful ever.
They'd come to see main stage appearances like TV writing legend Ronald D Moore, Caprica's Esai Morales, the cast and crew of Merlin (who told us that it's the Merlin-Morgana relationship which changes most in season three...), the team from Pulse, Stargate Universe's Alaina Huffman and Jamil Walker Smith, plus Fringe's John Noble (who spoke about the different physical methods of playing both Walter and the Walternate). We were also treated to the trailer of upcoming feature-length animation Ultramarines, the first ever Warhammer 40,000 film . The short teaser was also shown on the Ultramarines stand, where screenwriter Dan Abnett and director Martyn Pick signed autographs following a packed Q&A panel in the main hall.
At that brings us back to cosplay. The main auditorium also copped an eyeful of the inaugural UK Euro Cosplay Qualifiers, while ex-SFXer Leah Holmes was part of a Tekken-themed team that picked up the Best Performance award in the Expo Cosplay Masquerade. Good work!
The next London MCM Expo takes place on 30-31 October and to find out more about it head to the official site . You can also read reports from other conventions, and get news about upcoming events, every month in the Event Horizon pages in SFX magazine.